Moshimoshi everyone,

I have had the most restful Christmas and New Year break gallivanting around snowy Japan, sweltering Singapore, and sunny Australia. It was a really good time for the heart and the body, especially the four weeks when I didn’t touch my laptop nor any books (even fiction!) at all. I am about to head back to Sweden for my last stint of research work in Scandinavia, and will also be giving a last blitz of talks in Sweden, Germany, and possibly Norway. If you’re interested, details are below. It would be so lovely to see some familiar faces, feast on kanelbullar and hot chocolate, and bond over our mutual love for Søstrene Grene.

/C

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19 February 2019 @ Jönköping
“How to Engage with the Influencer Industry.”
Invited keynote & workshop, Transform to AAA Lecture Series, Science Park (Sweden).
1630-1930hrs, Restaurant Sajens on Science Park.

Many young people are now vocationally pursuing celebrity on the internet as commercial, cross-platform, and highly relatable Influencers. Influencers are raking in millions of dollars, working with blue chip companies, establishing their own brands, and even effecting change in legal, economic, and social regulation in various societies. In fact, the communication formats of Influencers are so innovative that ailing legacy media formats are learning to brandjack their vernacular participatory cultures to appeal to young audiences. But how did they get here, and how can businesses meaningfully engage with the Influencer industry? Drawing on traditional and digital anthropological research on internet celebrity since 2010 across the Asia Pacific and recent projects in Europe and the US, in this talk we will review a brief history of internet celebrities to understand how Influencers have emerged in the last decade. We will explore how attention and money are generated and circulated in the Influencer ecologies, and learn about the highly creative strategies encultured by Influencers to capture viewer attention in the increasingly saturated market. Portions of this talk are based on Crystal’s books Internet Fame: Understanding Celebrity Online (2018, Emerald Publishing), and Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame (2019, Emerald Publishing, co-edited with Megan Lindsay Brown).

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20 February 2019 @ Jönköping
“Socializing and promoting your research on social and popular media.”
Invited seminar, MMTC Seminars for Postgraduates, Jönköping University.
1200-1300hrs, B3008.

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26 February 2019 @ Jönköping
“What Swedish companies can learn from how entrepreneurs in East Asia use Instagram and Streaming Apps.”
Invited industry lecture, Transform to AAA Lecture Series, Jönköping University.
0900-1000hrs, B3052.
<Register>

Looking closely at online advertorials, personal endorsements, and knock-off material cultures as facilitated by young internet users, in this talk I present brief summaries on how young entrepreneurs in East Asia have been using Instagram and Streaming Apps for their businesses. These include recently popular platforms such as Musical.ly/TikTok, Tudou, BeLive, and Bigo, that are widely used around Asia. We will learn about the different platform architectures that have enabled commercial activity, cultures of interpersonal exchange and self-branding among various subcultures, and the resultant implications on the brick-and-mortar shopping industry. More importantly, we will review how some of these strategies can be applied in the Swedish context, and learn about some cultural norms that young internet users in Scandinavia value, based on pilot studies conducted in Denmark and Sweden.

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27 February 2019 @ Jönköping
“Digital ethnographic methods.”
Invited seminar, MMTC Seminars for Centre Members, Jönköping University.
1200-1400hrs, B4043.

In this session, participants will be given a brief overview on key frameworks and concepts in traditional ethnographic methods, and how to map these onto digital fieldsites and projects. We will also spend some time discussing practical tips and ethical considerations when committing to digital ethnographic projects. Participants are welcome to prepare a short introduction (2-3 lines) of a digital ethnographic project they are working on, and some of the issues they are encountering.

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05 March 2019 @ Jönköping
“Using Internet Paralanguages.” 
Invited industry lecture & workshop, Transform to AAA Lecture Series, Jönköping University.
1500-1700hrs, Science Park Jönköpings län.
<Register>

As new platforms and technologies emerge, young people are inventing innovative ways to express ideas and communicate with their peers using mixed media on the internet. Most prominently, internet paralanguages that draw on non-lexical visual cultures are flourishing in mainstream, subcultural, and countercultural internet communities. They have been used to communicative sensitive information across networks under the radar of authoritarian censors during global social movements, and situated to demonstrate different coded meanings for different audiences by prominent internet users such as Influencers. In this lecture and workshop, participants will explore some of these internet paralanguages, how they have been deployed by various brands in Scandinavia and Europe, and draw from their personal experiences of these communicative symbols. Through brief case studies, the session will demonstrate how we can systematically track and understand the emergence of internet paralanguages through ethnographic methods, and how organisations may like to employ some of these internet-native communication strategies to reach their target audience. In the workshop to follow, participants will be invited to brainstorm innovative uses of internet paralangauges to promote various causes and initiatives for their businesses, and close with a short sharing session with other attendees.

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06 March 2019 @ Jönköping
“Interactive classroom activities involving social media use.”
Invited seminar, MMTC Seminars for Faculty, Jönköping University.
1200-1300hrs, B3008.

In this session, participants will be introduced to a range of social media that is popular with young users/students today, and how instructors can integrate some of these platforms into our classroom activities. Although Crystal will be demonstrating some of these activities from her own social media and past classroom experiences, participants are welcome to bring along their smartphones or laptops if they would like to try out these social media on the spot.

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07-08 March 2019 @ Siegen
“Influencers and the commodification of everyday life: Brief histories from blogshops, Instagram, and tumblr.”
Invited conference paper, MoneyLab #6: Infrastructures of Money, Museum für Gegenwartskunst.
<Details here>

Looking closely at online advertorials, personal endorsements, and knock-off material cultures as facilitated by social media Influencers, in this talk I present three brief histories on how young people in Southeast Asia and beyond have monetised blogs, Instagram, and tumblr. Drawing on in-depth anthropological fieldwork from the mid-2000s, the talk focuses on the platform architectures that have enabled commercial activity, cultures of interpersonal exchange and self-branding among various subcultures, and the resultant implications on the brick-and-mortar shopping industry. The talk closes with a review of recent issues pertaining to Influencer commerce in the domains of economics, legality, and socio-cultural affairs, and reflects on the longterm impact when younger cohorts of Influencers grow up online through the commodification of everyday life.

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11 March 2019 @ Bergen
“Understanding the Influencer industry.”
Invited industry panel, Media City Bergen, Bergen.
<Details here>

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12 March 2019 @ Oslo
“Public coupling as Influencer strategy.”
Guest lecture, Department of Communication and Culture, Norwegian Business School

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12 March 2019 @ Oslo
“In$taglam: Commercializing, Innovating, and Hacking Instagram in the Influencer industry”
Research Seminar, Department of Communication and Culture, Norwegian Business School

As one of the most-used visual image social media platforms around the world, Instagram has exhibited a variety of global impacts on young people today. Be it platform politics, aesthetics and taste, ecologies and competition, economies and commerce, cultures and communities, lifespans and trajectories, or materialities and physicalities, the constant evolution of Instagram as a phenomenon has exhibited a confluence of effects on young users since its inception in 2010. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork among Influencers and young people in Singapore and beyond since the mid-2000s, this talk will survey three attention economies around Instagram, focusing particularly on the economics, cultures, and materialities of the platform through networks of Influencers, waves of global grieving posts, and the proliferation of Instagrammable places. Some angles that will be discussed include the commercial and visual history of Instagram, the vernacular and transient communities on Instagram, and the spillover effects and ideologies perpetuated by Instagram. Portions of this talk are drawn from these books: Internet Celebrity (Emerald Publishing, 2018), Microcelebrity Around the Globe (co-edited with Megan Lindsay Brown, Emerald Publishing, 2019), and Instagram: Visual Social Media (co-authored with Tama Leaver and Tim Highfield, Polity Press, Forthcoming). Reach Crystal at wishcrys.com.

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14 March 2019 @ Borås
“Cultures on the internet, Instagram, and Influencer marketing.”
Invited public lecture, TEX! Annual Meeting, Textile Fashion Center.
<Details here>

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28 March 2019 @ Stockholm
“Understanding the Influencer Industry.”
Invited industry seminar, Research Breakfast Seminar Series, Handelsrådet.
<Details here>

Many young people are now vocationally pursuing celebrity on the internet as commercial, cross-platform, and highly relatable Influencers. Influencers are raking in millions of dollars, working with blue chip companies, establishing their own brands, and even effecting change in legal, economic, and social regulation in various societies. In fact, the communication formats of Influencers are so innovative that ailing legacy media formats are learning to brandjack their vernacular participatory cultures to appeal to young audiences. But how did they get here, and how can businesses meaningfully engage with the Influencer industry? Drawing on traditional and digital anthropological research on internet celebrity since 2010 across the Asia Pacific and a recent project in Scandinavia, in this talk we will review a brief history of internet celebrities to understand how Influencers have emerged in the last decade. We will explore how attention and money are generated and circulated in the Influencer ecologies, and learn about the highly creative strategies encultured by Influencers to capture viewer attention in the increasingly saturated market. Portions of this talk are based on Crystal’s books Internet Fame: Understanding Celebrity Online (2018, Emerald Publishing), and Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures of Internet Fame (2019, Emerald Publishing, co-edited with Megan Lindsay Brown).

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